Tragedy of the Commons Claims South African Rhinos


The last rhinoceros living on a South African reserve has been butchered for her horn. The horn is very valuable in Asia.

Now, can we declare once and for all that protecting species that have natural value on government reserves is futile? If you want to save the South African rhinos, allow ranchers to breed and raise them, harvesting their horn and sell them to Asia.

I can tell you this works. Of all the species of animals, the ones that will never be endangered are the ones we are not only allowed to raise, but eat and use for our own purposes. You won’t see domesticated cattle going the way of the dodo as long as we eat vast quantities of dead cow flesh on our barbecues.

A good system of laws based on natural property rights goes a long way to protecting the environment. When someone owns the land or the animals or the trees, and they are free to profit off of them, they make certain that there is plenty of land, animals and trees to harvest throughout the foreseeable future.


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